WOODBURY - An influential government health panel is now recommending that all pregnant women and new moms be screened for depression.
Bridget Croteau says that after giving birth to her now-4-year-old daughter Natalie, there were more bad days than good. She was diagnosed with what used to be known as postpartum depression. It's now called perinatal mood and anxiety disorder because recent studies show that this type of depression can affect a woman not just after their child is born, but also during pregnancy.
According to health officials, perinatal mood and anxiety disorder affects one out of every seven pregnant women. Before the new federal recommendation, pregnant women and new moms were not screened for it.
The federal panel does not state how often and at what point during a pregnancy women should be screened, nor does it elaborate on what screening tools should be used.
Croteau, who is competing in the Mrs. New York America competition representing Suffolk County, has made the disorder one of her platforms.